Moving Forward Together

Press Releases

Sep 19 2023

Together as members of the Antisemitism Roundtable and as leaders in San Diego’s Jewish Community, we thank the San Diego City Council, which unanimously condemned the vile antisemitic, racist and homophobic statements made in public comment throughout last night’s City Council meeting. This vitriol has no place in our public discourse, and we appreciate the Council’s rejection of the remarks and their determination to reduce opportunities for any form of hate speech in the future.

Aug 14 2023

DACA Day will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9 at the JFS Joan & Irwin Jacobs Campus in Kearny Mesa (8804 Balboa Avenue) from 9:00am to 1:00pm Space is limited with pre-event registration required via; registration ends August 31.

Jul 28 2023

We strongly condemn the antisemitic comments made by a commissioner at the San Diego County Leon Williams Human Rights Commission (HRC) meeting on July 18.

Jul 11 2023

The San Diego Seniors Community Foundation (SDSCF) has awarded the JFS College Avenue Center $10,000 as part of SDSCF’s Empower San Diego Senior Center grant program. The 2023 Empower Grant allows JFS to expand program offerings at College Avenue Center by compensating instructors, in addition to volunteer-led classes.

Jul 7 2023

At Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS)’s 2023 Annual Meeting & Awards Luncheon, held June 27 at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Jacobs Hall, the nonprofit announced its next board chair, Deborah Bucksbaum, along with new board members, while honoring key staff for their contributions in the past year.

May 30 2023

San Diego Foundation and Dr. Seuss Foundation announced today $1.15 million in grants to support 23 local nonprofit organizations dedicated to providing quality, affordable early childhood education, care and resources for families with young children, ages 0 to 5.

May 16 2023

In 2019, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS), in partnership with the County of San Diego Behavioral Health Services, re-launched Breaking Down Barriers, an outreach program promoting positive discussions about mental health and wellness in under-resourced communities, often reluctant to have those discussions. In the past four years, Breaking Down Barriers has conducted or been a part of over 1,000 workshops/events and has reached over 17,000 people.

Apr 25 2023

180 organizations, medical professionals, and individuals sign a letter to Acting Commissioner Miller demanding CBP strictly limit the detention of pregnant, postpartum, and nursing people, and their infants.

Apr 12 2023

Time and time again, the Biden Administration continues to violate its campaign promises to establish compassionate, human-centered immigration reform, now with the planned revival of two Trump-era policies previously known as Prompt Asylum Claim Review and the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process (PACR/HARP). The fact that the Administration ended these policies upon taking office, only to reinstate them less than two years later, is inexcusable and horrific.

Mar 17 2023

JFS Chief Operating Officer Dana Toppel has been named a recipient of the 6th Annual Debra Zanders-Willis Child Welfare Leadership Award from the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. This award is given to a community partner or County employee who has shown exceptional leadership resulting in positive outcomes for children and families.

Mar 16 2023

On Wednesday, a federal court largely denied the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit, Immigrant Defenders Law Center et al. v. Mayorkas, brought on behalf of people seeking asylum who were stranded outside the United States as a result of the Trump administration’s unlawful “Remain in Mexico” policy. In its decision, the court declared that, if true, the Plaintiffs’ allegations would amount to “acute and sweeping violations” of their “bedrock rights.” The court also granted the Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, meaning they will be permitted to represent a larger class of similarly-situated individuals who had their cases terminated or received final removal orders under the original incarnation of the policy during the Trump administration.

Mar 16 2023

Este miércoles, un tribunal federal denegó en gran parte la moción del gobierno del Presidente Biden para descartar la demanda en el caso Immigrant Defenders Law Center et al. v. Mayorkas, presentada en nombre de personas que buscan asilo y que quedaron varadas fuera de los Estados Unidos como resultado de la política ilegal de la administración Trump de “Permanece en México.” En su fallo, el tribunal declaró que, de ser comprobadas, las alegaciones de los Demandantes constituirían “violaciones agudas y generalizadas” de los “derechos fundamentales” de los Demandantes.

Mar 8 2023

The Biden Administration’s consideration to reinstate family detentions — a practice it openly rejected throughout the campaign trail — is an abhorrent betrayal of its commitments to rebuild our nation’s broken immigration system and implement compassionate, humane policies.

Mar 2 2023

Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) announced today the addition of Dave Myers as its director of safety and security. Myers brings his extensive history in law enforcement to the role, where he will oversee security for all JFS programs and services.

Feb 21 2023

The San Diego Rapid Response Network’s blueprint for humanitarian reception of people seeking asylum at its respite shelter network serves as a road map for how governments and communities across the U.S. can build upon the experiences and lessons learned from the model in San Diego.

Feb 7 2023

San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN), a coalition of human rights and service organizations, attorneys, and community leaders dedicated to aiding immigrants and their families in the San Diego border region, applauds the San Diego County Board of Supervisors for voting today to plan for and support people seeking asylum.

Dec 27 2022

Due to the extreme weather conditions impacting outbound travel, our resources and current infrastructure are stretched to capacity each night. At this time, we are currently welcoming up to 300 asylum seekers daily. When conditions prevent guests from departing, we have to limit arrivals only to the most vulnerable asylum seekers released by DHS.

Dec 23 2022

Due to the extreme weather conditions impacting outbound travel, our resources and the current infrastructure have been stretched to capacity. At this time, we cannot respond to requests coming through the SDRRN emergency hotline to assist in sheltering additional asylum seekers.

Dec 1 2022

JFS has named Sunni Robertson director of volunteer engagement. With more than 17 years serving the San Diego community in the nonprofit sector, Robertson’s experience will guide JFS’s outreach to potential volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to help the nonprofit in providing resources and support to over 70,000 people every year.

Oct 20 2022

In a letter to Commissioner Magnus, The American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties, ACLU of Texas, Jewish Family Service of San Diego, and the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law, along with 83 advocacy organizations and 51 medical professionals, urge CBP to uphold the reproductive rights of migrants and not detain pregnant, postpartum, and nursing people, as well as infants, past time strictly necessary.
“All people deserve safe and adequate reproductive health care that upholds their dignity and autonomy, including those seeking their legal right to asylum in the U.S.” – Kate Clark, Esq., JFS Senior Director of Immigration Services.

Sep 20 2022

The San Diego City Council confirmed today the appointments of Jewish Family Service San Diego (JFS) Chief Operating Officer Dana Toppel and Board of Directors Member Susan Davis to the City’s newly revived Commission on the Status of Women. Former U.S. Congresswoman Davis has been appointed as the Commission’s Chair. Mayor Todd Gloria announced Toppel and Davis’s appointments on August 26, 2022, in honor of Women’s Equality Day. Both members of JFS leadership have extensive backgrounds working within the community to advance women’s equality in the workplace and beyond.

Sep 13 2022

Rabbi Freeman brings over 30 years of experience working in a variety of settings from synagogues to hospitals. She has focused on healing and the use of spiritual care as a modality to help individuals find peace with life’s most difficult situations. She often embraces tools and adaptions from the field of integrative medicine including dance yoga and mindfulness to open pathways to healing. Rabbi Freeman joins JFS after most recently serving as a chaplain and Clinical Pastoral Educator for Sharp Healthcare in San Diego.
“As an agency guided by Jewish values, having a rabbinic resource on our team, and specifically within the Center for Jewish Care, will be valuable to our staff, volunteers and board as we explore the work we do through our uniquely Jewish lens,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “We are resolved to lift our values in our advocacy work, meet the pastoral needs of individuals served by the Center for Jewish Care and amplify our sacred teachings with a contemporary perspective within our team.”

Aug 31 2022

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, visited the San Diego border region, and joined local NGOs and advocacy organizations to discuss their critical work to protect and welcome asylum seekers and how the federal government can support their efforts. Padilla also highlighted his commitment to protecting the right to asylum and his advocacy to create more legal pathways for migrants to safely arrive and be welcomed into the United States. As part of his visit he toured the San Diego Rapid Response Network (SDRRN) Migrant Shelter Services operated by Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

Aug 16 2022

ACLU, Jewish Family Service, UCLA Center for Immigration Law and Policy Send Letter to Secretary Mayorkas Raising Concerns Over Continued Family Separations, Calling for Justice for Separated Family.

Aug 11 2022

For the thousands of people looking for protection while they seek asylum, Jewish Family Service of San Diego (JFS) hopes that the Department of Homeland Security’s ending of the unlawful and cruel “Migrant Protection Protocols” (MPP, also known as “Remain in Mexico” policy) is the catalyst to many more actions to rebuild our immigration system into one that welcomes with compassion, safety, dignity and equity.